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Robots @ Home?
December 12, 2002 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Have Home Robots become a "thing of the now" rather than "thing of the future"? This company seems to think so. It's even got a list of the Top 25 things to do with their new robot, the ER1. This is certainly a big step up from the "toys" that The Sharper Image and other shops sold in the 80's and early 90's, which would bring you a drink on your tray via remote control, etc.
posted by djspicerack (9 comments total)

 
This is *so* cool. Great link!
posted by falameufilho at 11:10 AM on December 12, 2002


this guy works for the company that makes the ER1 robot.
posted by moz at 11:12 AM on December 12, 2002


It looks like a lovely thing, and I especially appreciate the Python API to control it.

On the other hand, ever since getting married, buying a house, and (my wife) being pregnant, I no longer even think about buying cool gadgets when I see them. It's kind of a relief, not wanting to buy everything anymore. Much.

My Leatherman Wave has no Python API.
posted by e.e. coli at 11:33 AM on December 12, 2002


ER1 previously discussed here
posted by ook at 12:06 PM on December 12, 2002


I've heard some raves about the robot vacuum cleaners that are popping onto the market lately. Maybe we're finally starting to live in the era of the Jetsons after all.
posted by mathowie at 12:06 PM on December 12, 2002


(...although now that I look at it the previous thread wasn't much worth a crosslink. Carry on)
posted by ook at 12:33 PM on December 12, 2002


Is it just me, or does the fact that this robot carries around a lapotop to function kinda silly to anyone else?
posted by billpena at 1:47 PM on December 12, 2002


Is it just me, or does the fact that this robot carries around a laptop to function kinda silly to anyone else?

I think it's a great feature, actually. Using commodity hardware to do the processing makes the robot easier to tinker with, repair, or upgrade. The laptop also provides a familiar, easy to use interface. Plus, it's easily extensible: you can put in an IRCOMM or 802.11 PCMCIA card and have instant remote control and networking. Would you prefer a proprietary system locked in a box?
posted by mr_roboto at 2:07 PM on December 12, 2002


Many robots around here carry their brains onboard in laptops. A few complicated systems offload different aspects of their work onto several different computers that they carry around, and there are one or two that even have their own wireless ethernet hubs so that you can follow them with another laptop at a conference and see what they're thinking.

It's a good idea, all told. Special embedded computers can be costly and hard to upgrade. Research robots are extremely expensive, and it makes sense to be able to replace their computers cheaply to maximize investment.
posted by tss at 3:15 PM on December 12, 2002


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